THE FIRST MAJOR by John Feinstein


The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
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An exciting story of the “terror…absolute joy and absolute despair” that are the Ryder Cup matches.

Noted sports columnist and prolific author Feinstein (The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry, 2016, etc.) returns to the world of golf with this in-depth portrait of the dramatic 2016 Ryder Cup matches between the U.S. and European teams at the Hazeltine Golf Course in Minnesota. Golf fans love Feinstein’s books because he’s trusted by the pros and thus can give inside information no other journalist can capture, plus he has a flair for telling a great story. He’s been waiting 23 years to write a book about the Ryder Cup, and he covers a lot of material here. The author begins at the end of the matches, with Ryan Moore (the last American to make the team) putting to win the matches for the U.S., the first win since 2008. He provides a succinct history of the matches, which began in 1926, before moving on to more detailed tales about the most recent ones and the key players involved in them. Then it’s on to the 2016 competition. He provides terrific behind-the-scenes information about how Davis Love was chosen as team captain for the second time in a row as well as the scrap between Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson and how Love decided to implement a strategy similar to what captain Paul Azinger used in the American’s 2008 victory: the task force, which gave “the players the input they needed to be prepared to succeed.” The opening ceremony had seating for 1,500. There were some 45,000 on the course, and 30,000 stayed for the ceremony. Feinstein’s coverage of the actual matches only takes up about a quarter of the book, and his journalistic style of short, pithy paragraphs drives the narrative along at breakneck speed.

Recommended for any sports enthusiast and a must for golfers of all handicaps.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-385-54109-1
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2017


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